Tuesday March 12, 2024

Manistee News Advocate

An oil sheen spotted off the Southern California coast last week was possibly caused by a natural seep from the ocean floor, but the exact source still isn’t known, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Monday.

Authorities detected the 2.5-mile-long (4-kilometer-long) oil sheen Friday morning off Huntington Beach. Crews recovered roughly 85 gallons (322 liters) of oil from the water and 1,050 pounds (476 kilos) of oily waste and tar balls from the shoreline, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Lab tests so far have failed to definitively identify the oil source, but preliminary analyses determined it was not a refined product like gasoline or diesel, officials said.

“The lab results were also inconsistent with archived samples from oil platforms in the area,” the statement said. The samples are more characteristic of “freshly produced” oil typical of natural seepage, according to officials.

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